tv Early Today NBC May 31, 2013 4:00am-4:31am PDT
good morning. it's friday. here's what's coming up on "early today." breaking news. the american mom busted in mexico for marijuana has been released. why she was let go. weather continues to be a major concern across the midwest as hurricane season officially kicks off. we got the latest on the slew of ricin-laced letters allegedly from gun enthusiasts. plus a new spelling bee champ is crowned. jon bon jovi's generous gift to his fans. and what the heck are these cute little guys dressed up for? "early today" starts right now. >> announcer: this is "early today" for friday, may 31st. good morning, i'm richard lui. breaking news overnight, an arizona mother of seven has been released from a mexican prison the 42-year-old was arrested
last wednesday by mexican soldiers. they allegedly found nearly 12 pounds of marijuana under her seat on a bus traveling from mexico to arizona. maldonado spoke briefly with reporters after her release. >> i want to speak, thank you. first to god because i'm free now and he sent good people my way. and i'm very grateful that i'm fr free, for my family, my children. >> you can see her making her way here across the mexican border into the u.s. in this video. a judge releasing maldonado after reviewing surveillance video that showed her and her husband carrying only blankets, water bottles and her purse onto the bus. she's back in the u.s. this morning. the national weather service confirms at least one tornado touched down after dark in the tulsa, oklahoma, suburb. no reports of injuries and the damage is primarily to roofs.
1800 people are without power in the tulsa area. in arkansas at least nine are injured and one was trapped inside a car after two tornadoes touched down there. bill karins will have our full forecast in just a few minutes. emotions are still raw in moore, oklahoma, less than two weeks after a massive ef-5 tornado. crews demolished what was left of the plaza towers elementary school where seven third graders lost her lives because of that storm. >> i look at my daughter's school and i just can't, i can't imagine the babies that were in there and what they went through. >> school officials plan to rebuild plaza towers and another damaged school, brooir briarwood elementary, at an estimated cost of $20 million. some parents aren't sure whether it's a good idea to rebuild on the same land where the seven young students lost their lives. what investigators are calling the dark side of the gun control debate a letter addressed to president obama threatening advocates of gun control was intercepted thursday at a washington, d.c. screening center.
it's not clear if that letter contained ricin but officials say it's similar to ricin-laced letters sent to mayor bloomberg. enter semtded at a new york city screening facility. another was sent to bloomberg's gun control group. investigators say all three were postmarked from shreveport, louisiana, and mailed on may 20th. in an unrelated case the fbi said thursday a letter containing ricin was mailed to the president from spokane, washington. syria says it has advanced missiles from russia and will respond in kind to future air attacks from neighbor israel. this as president obama meets with the nato secretary to discuss options on the civil war-stricken country. nbc's tracie potts joins us from washington. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, richard. a big part of that meeting will be the president and nato leaders, europeans trying to get together and figure out, can we get these two sides to sit down at the table and talk?
there's a meeting in geneva, switzerland, next week as they again try to press the opposition leaders and bashar al assad's government to work this out, this civil war that's been going on and has been deadly for so long now. assad now insists that he's got weapons already in syria and more on the way from russia. and israel says that's a threat to them if, in fact, that's the case. they'll be ready to defend themselves. so the u.s. squarely in the middle of this with its meeting with president obama today, trying to work it out. trying to bring down the tensions in syria. richard? >> tracie potts in washington, thank you. defense secretary chuck hagel says cyber threats are very real and dangerous. that's why cybersecurity will take top billing this weekend when he meets with members of a chinese delegation. hagel is calling for, quote, rules of the road to prevent conflict on global networks on reports that china used
computer-based attacks to access data from pentagon weapons programs. hagel says sub cybersecurity wie a topic for next week's meeting. the winter olympics next february have now olympic-sized reports of corruption to deal with. a former russian deputy prime minister-turned kremlin critic claims $30 billion were stolen from the games. the accused are businessmen and officials close to president vladimir putin. the alleged corruption and cost overruns have quadrupled the games' cost estimate to a total of $50 billion now. the head of the russian olympic committee says he's confident russian prosecutors and auditors are keeping an eye on costs. well, the white house is dismissing the idea of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the irs. deputy press secretary josh ernest says there's already enough people reviewing the embattled agency. the uproar surrounds tax be officials allegedly singling out conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for
nonprofit status. but according to a new quinnipiac poll, three in four say they want a special prosecutor to find out what happened there. when it comes to the national spelling bee, there's a new c-h-a-m-p. knaidel. k-n-a-i-d-e-l. knaidel. >> you are the champion. >> yeah, he is, 13-year-old arvin mahankali from new york winning the scripps national spelling bee. he correctly spelled knaidel. which in case you're wondering, it's a small mass of leavenned dough spelled k-n-a-i-d-e-l. bill karins, i am so glad -- >> i knew it right away.
i said, you can do it. you can do it. >> and i was having trouble with c-h-a-m-p is what you're saying. >> congratulations to him and everyone in the west. you'll finally be rewarded with a really nice weekend. it hasn't been too bad in california this week. all the attention on the midwest. once again today, severe weather threat. areas in yellow, a slight risk. the red is where we could see the possibility of one or two strong to violent tornadoes. it's not going to be a huge outbreak, but all it takes it one as we found out in moore, oklahoma. and once again, unfortunately, that area of moore, oklahoma city, norman, tulsa, up almost towards the springfield and joplin areas, that's the greatest concern. and the other huge story headed into the weekend and next week is the flooding on the mississippi river because of all the bad weather in the midwest. we're expecting in st. louis to have the water cresting at almost 40 feet. that would be the eighth all-time highest crest in the city. of course, the levees protect the city, so they'll be just fine. in the west, we're okay. all the storminess in the middle of the country. high pressure increasing in the
northwest. that means warmer temperatures ahead. today looks like a nice day in many areas. of course, when you get high pressure overhead in the southwest, we start getting hot, 102 today in pho california. tomorrow's going to be even hotter. so in many areas, it will be a hot weekend, a summer weekend. it's fitting for the beginning of june. >> if you like heat, you got it. coming up, sentencing day for the madam in the zumba prostitution ring. oprah's advice for harvard graduates. burger king offering a whole new way of eating the mighty whopper. this one's for you. "early today" is back in two.
rock camping area. helicopters are being used to fight the flames. a 30-year-old former zumba instructor who turned her studio into a brothel is headed to jail. alexis wright pleaded guilty to 20 counts including prostitution, conspiracy and tax evasion. she was busted last year. at the same time she told her business partner she thought it was going to be a good week. oprah winfrey was among the speakers during thursday's commencement ceremony at harvard university. the queen of all media gave graduates some real talk after discussing past rating troubles with her cable network. >> the law of averages predicts that you will at some point fall. and when you do, i want you to know this. remember this. there is no such thing as failure. failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.
>> the 59-year-old later got teary-eyed when she received an honorary doctorate of law degree from the school. a close shave. well, close in space terms. the qe2 asteroid will come within 3.6 million miles of the planet this afternoon. it's about two miles in diameter, and it's even bringing its own moon along with it. why not? now for an early look at business, we turn to cnbc's bertha coombs. good morning. >> good morning, richard. the markets could see some red arrows today after stocks rose on thursday. with one day left in may, the dow is set for its sixth straight winning month. and mortgage rates are rising. freddie mac says the average rate on a 30-year loan hit 3.81%, up from 3.59% last week. mortgage rates track yields on the ten-year treasury note which hit a 13-month high this week. new government data shows americans have regained less than half the wealth lost during
the recession. household wealth plunged by nearly $17 trillion between late 2007 and early 2009. but richard, a lot of folks lost their homes and lost their jobs really had to dip into their savings and remain in the red. >> bertha, thank you so much with that. more business for you now. discount retailer target will be adding a beauty korconcierge to stores. the new staffers will be, quote, highly trained, brand agnostic, beauty enthusiasts and available without an appointment. mcdonald's ceo don thompson revealing he's lost about 20 pounds in the past year by working out but adds that he still eats at the golden arches each and every day. burger king is offering a brand-new way to woof down those wh whoppers. yeah. they've invented and adopted a hands-free device for those bk burgers to allow you to eat
without interruption. multitasking and hilarious looking. over $6 million was raised from wednesday's "healing the heartland" benefit concert for the people of oklahoma seen right here on nbc. the cleveland man that rescued the three women in ohio is taking on a new job. charles ramsey has accepted a position as motivational speaker with a las vegas firm. he's now available for speaking engagements and personal appearances if you want in the $10,000 range per appearance. none have been booked as of yet. finally for you, where are the best tippers in the world? according to a new survey by trip adviser, germans tipping the most on vacation followed by americans. and russians, italians, they tip the least. sports highlights straight ahead. plus, prancersize your way to good health, really. and boston strong comes out swinging last night. you're watching "early today."
david west five "gs" east for flopping. indiana's lance stevenson also got a flop fine. the winter olympics are coming to sochi, russia. february 2014, airing on nbc. here's the new medal design. what do you see? well, all 1300 are supposed to show the sun's rays reflecting through a prism of snowy mountains and sandy beaches. do you see it? another eye test. a college football watchdog complaining the new american athletic conference logo, quote, looks like the arizona wildcats' logo drank a heineken. so let's just add one part arizona wildcats and one part heineken beer. put them together. what do you get? well, a drunk football team, right? no, you get this but i guess it's more obvious what they're saying. a tough week for yankees fans. the mets beat them four games in a row. sign of the times? take a listen. >> aiden, why are you upset? >> because. >> because what?
>> one more chance. >> a chance for what? >> being a yankee fan. because yankees fans are winning. i want to be a yankee! >> how about the yankees are losing? >> i would root for the mets. >> so you basically go for whoever's winning? >> yeah. >> oh, so you're a front-runner. >> yeah. >> not a flip-flopper. >> i'm not a flip-flopper. you hurt my feelings. >> for a second i thought it was bill karins in the green room. taunting, prancing, ridiculed. take this, nonbelievers. prancercizing is viral, over 700,000 hits. a springy, rhythmic way of moving forward. i don't know what you think there. it's supposed to be similar to a horse's gait. joanna rorbach says she created the signature moves back in '89. you know what they are, they're timeless. heading to the movies,
saturday and sunday, some of the warmth starts to spread. beautiful saturday. by the time we arrive into sunday, we're still looking pretty nice. look at the temperatures in the desert southwest. some of the hottest air so far this summer season. 108. >> man, it's hot. a good weekend if you're in the northwest finally. >> dry. head over to entertainment. "fast & furious 6" expected to hold on to the top slot at the box office again this weekend despite two big titles opening today. will and jaden smith's "after earth" and "now you see me" both open to less than stellar reviews. aerosmith and jason aldean one of the many artists supporting last month's victims. proceeds benefit the one fund which has already raised more than $35 million for the cause. good stuff. to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the "superman" franchise, d.c. entertainment has released this new logo to accompany the crime-fighting --
what do you think of this one here? >> i don't know. it's okay. >> yeah. not very detailed, shall we say. in the new issue of "cosmopolitan," channing tatum reveals his secret to happy marriage, you have to want it. ask on a scale of one to ten how much do you love me right now? that's what he says. i don't know if you want those numbers. he says you've got to be honest and want an honest answer. >> i want the numbers before you get married. >> leave it ambiguous, honey. finally a painful recession in spain has forced bon jovi to cancel their concert in madrid, instead they slashed prices so cash-strapped fans weren't let down. i'm richard lui, and this is "early today," just your first stop of the day today on your nbc station.
leading the news in the "the washington post" this morning, for obama's ex-aides it's time to cash in on experience. despite the president trying to rein in the so-called revolving door of influence. in politico eric holder to media, "i get it." attorney general holder expressing concern how the department of justice has handled recent media investigations at an off-the-record meeting but stopping short of offering any concrete changes to guidelines. topping our news this morning, breaking overnight an arizona mother of seven has been released from a mexican prison and is back in the u.s. this morning after a week-long drug bust nightmare. 42-year-old yanira maldonado was arrested last wednesday by mexican soldiers after they allegedly found nearly 12 pound of marijuana under her seat on a bus traveling from mexico to arizona but a judge released her surveillance video from the bus
terminal showing she and her husband were only carrying only blankets, water bottles and a purse under the bus. in turkey, a demonstration goes violent. >> yeah, you get him. >> protesters were staging a sit-in to prevent the uprooting of trees at an istanbul park. >> oh! >> he gets the water cannon there. >> who got the last laugh? >> the cops working -- several people were injured. some taken to the hospital in this. but that water cannon -- >> you know the riot cop guy was laughing as he did that. >> he didn't want to do that. not at all. a group of african penguins waddling back to their roots. the small african or black-footed penguins welcoming the arrival of african leaders to japan with a fine costume parade on friday. they were saying to them, "walk this way"? i don't know. let's look at this impressive dirt bike video. while this jump roping rider is not attempting anything death guying, it does look like one heck of a workout. >> i think the man standing up to the water cannon takes the
cake. >> that's better, i must say. that's not easy. you ride dirt bikes? >> i'm not saying it's easy. time for a look ahead. president obama will talk about student loan rates today. the president will call on congress to pass a solution that helps keep college affordable for middle-class families and students before rates double in july. it's graduation day at the university of massachusetts in boston. a posthumous degree will be awarded to bombing victim krystle campbell, a former student there. and happy birthday to brook shields who is 48. that means we're getting really old. joe name ath and clint eastwood. here's what's coming up on "today." jeff rossen with a camera hidden inside disney and a look at the tricks many are using to skip lines and new kids on the block, 98 degrees and boys ii men. keep it here for news, weather, sports and more. i'm richard lui along with bill karins. you have a good weekend.
break news, flames rerupted in a well known san francisco restaurant this morning and what we are hearing from the crews on the scene. and we are also following the break news that could affect your commute. b.a.r.t. is experiencing major delays. mike will have all of the delays. out in force as police crews are expected to be out in the streets. and a man from cupertino and what his wife is telling us. and high fire danger as the temperatures are going to rise. hot wind and weather expected to increase. that danger all over the bay area. we will have a look at that change in the forecast.